- Vietnamese Tea
Vietnamese teas are in high demand among tea resellers from China and other Southeastern Asian countries. Their centuries-old plantations and ritual tea house retreats are enjoying a modern-day renaissance in the "new" Vietnam for business and pleasure. It is very difficult to buy Vietnamese tea direct, as most of it is under contract to China and resold as "high quality Chinese" tea. Thus few people realize that Vietnam is one of the top tea producers in the world, if not in quantity, then in quality.
Vietnamese teas are widely regarded as the purest in the world, and are generally minimally processed whole leaf green or white teas, 90% of which are scented with Jasmine or Lotus. Jasmine tea is somewhat of a national drink, and Lotus tea is a specialty generally found only in Vietnam and China.
Our whole leaf teas and display teas are very potent and are intended for multiple brewings. You will use less tea than normal, and brewing should be at temperatures between 160° and 180°. Boiling water will destroy the delicacy of whole leaf green or white tea.
In addition to the green teas, we also offer some popular favorites that remain hard-to-find in America. The naturally sweet and soothing Artichoke Tea and delightful Rose Fruity Milk Tea have a very loyal following. For fans of rose teas, we have the Ruby Rosebud Tea, which consists of 100% tightly-furled miniature rosebuds in a deep magenta color.
The ancient traditional craft of hand-sewing white (Silver Needle) tea leaves into decorative shapes originated in China but spread to Vietnam along with many other cultural artifacts. These tight spheres of premium white tea expand in hot water to reveal a beautiful and delicate flower, with a colorful blossom in the center. In Vietnam, these works of art are called Dragonflower Teas. They have other terms of reference worldwide, such as Tea Posies, Display Teas, and Tea Flowers. Silver Needle tea is a special cultivar, classified as a white tea, but with a stronger flavor than most white tea, yet without bitterness.
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The Araku Valley of India
India's coffee tradition goes back 400 years or more, when a variety called Kent was first established in the Southern Hills. Arabicas predominated until the blight of 1870, when growers needed to hybridize to resistant varieties. The resultant strains had genes from Liberica and other unique, resistant species. Learn more and browse India's Araku Valley coffees here.